On Tuesday last week, the Senate Foreign relations committee finally approved a critical bill that will provide a settlement for the staff (and others) held hostage at the U.S. embassy in Tehran (some 35 years ago). The victims will be receiving compensation soon for the anguish. HOWEVER, many of you may NOT know is that the money that is being used to pay the victims is actually coming from the U.S. government – NOT – the Iranian government!
Yes, the U.S. government is paying compensation to the 151 claimants in a class action lawsuit that has dragged on and on against the U.S. government. These are U.S. diplomats, civilian federal employees, spouses, children and estates related to the 52 Americans who were held in Tehran for 444 days following the overthrow of the Shah of Iran and subsequent ‘revolution’ in 1979.
This bill (s.868) will be attached to the larger Iran ‘nuclear’ negotiations bill that will seek compensation and justice for the hostages—most of whom endured torture– by imposing a 30 percent surcharge on the fines of any entity such as a business that violates economic sanctions against Iran.Chief sponsor Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., said on Tuesday: “The Iran hostages sacrificed mightily for our country, and we owe it to them and their families to see to it that the nation of Iran compensates them for the damages perpetrated upon them.” It would have been more accurate to say they sacrificed mightily for Ronald Reagan (who kept them captive to win the Presidential elections…. But… hey, he’s a politician. Interestingly the other sponsors of the bill are Republicans too. But the democrats are NOT standing in the way of the bill getting passed.
But hold on, wasn’t the bad boy Iran? Or Iran’s mullahs? Didn’t everyone see Argo?Surely the Mullahs are the defendants here, NOT the U.S. government! Right?
This amendment—will allot $10,000 per day of captivity to each claimant– is also backed by the State Department, which has been prohibited for nearly 35 years from paying restitution to the hostages because of the Algiers Accords signed in 1981 signed right at the very end of the Carter administration, which shielded the Mullahs from legal attack.So this November 4th, the actual anniversary of their captivity, is the earliest the claimants can receive their money.
Well, so you know that one of the side benefits of imposing sanctions on Iran has been the huge scale, i.e. billions of dollars of fines, imposed sanction busters like Banks in Europe. It is, in fact, THAT money that being used to pay off all claims against the Iranian government. In a strange way, the sanctions themselves have provided the U.S. government with the basis for collecting fines – and for getting the Iranian government off the hook…. And settling claims against it.
How incredibly ironic?
Yes, they collected $1.3 billion against Britain’s HSBC, $9 billion against France’s BNP Paribas,… and it goes on and on… Britain’s Standard Chartered (Bank) was fined $327 Million, $617 Million in combined fines against Barclays Bank, Credit Suisse, Lloyds Bank, and ING (Dutch Bank). This money will NOT only be usedto pay off the embassy hostages, but ALSO, all remaining claims against Iran. Oh, I should mention that these investigations were led by none-other than New York’s District Attorney’s office led by none-other than our current Attorney General – Loretta Lynch! The same office that recently arrested FIFA executives.
Tom Lankford, an Alexandria, Va.-based international lawyer who has worked for the surviving hostages and their families since 1999, expressed satisfactionwith this bill and stated that the “funding source be something other than taxpayer funds,” and taking money from the “criminals” who violate sanctions against Iran was the best surrogate for Iran. “Because of the age of so many in our group,” he is hoping for executive action so that some settlements could be delivered immediately and the Treasury Department-controlled fund replenished at a future time.
Tactically, the attorney explained, the class of hostages veered back and forth between pursuit of litigation and legislation. There was confusion about whether domestic anti-terrorism legislation passed in the past two decades overrode the international agreement signed in 1981. Courts determined that the Algiers Accords still prohibited a straight-out government payment to the hostages without a new statute, which Lankford said, has had bipartisan support in both the House and Senate.
The American Foreign Service Association, which is the union for retired and active U.S. diplomats, has also backed Isakson’s bill and applauded the State Department for working with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in an effort to give closure to the hostages and their families.”
This is a brilliant outcome … they are using the money collected in fines from sanction busting to pay off the claimants. By the way, not just the embassy claimants – but numerous others who have sued (or been affected) by the legal immunity the Iranian government enjoyed. Victims of bombings, corporations who had their assets taken by the Iranian government after the revolution … and yes these 151 victims of the embassy hostage taking (which we all know was a set up to humiliate Jimmy Carter by the Republicans).
It has to be done NOW, right at the 35-year point as the terms of the Algiers accord expire. The claimants (all of them) are going to have to eat it… accept it… or face NOT getting anything at all. The 35 years is here like a ‘statute of limitations’ on legal action. They have to take it, and take it now. It could not have been done earlier or later.
The slate has to be wiped clean. They can now re-open the Iranian embassy in Washington without any liens. They can now have direct relations – officially. They will have paid off everyone, and can start fresh.
What all this really means is that the claims on Iran having an illicit nuclear program – and all those years of negotiations were all bogus. They could NOT have settled earlier anyway. It was all a show, …an outright lie and excuse to set up sanctions – it was a set up – to buy time, and enable sanctions … and then these fines.
For 35 years those on the inside have known this all along, and meanwhile the people of Iran had to ‘eat it’ and be deprived of basic economic well-being, declining living standards… war… NOT to even mention sanctioned cancer drugs for those suffering. It seems, Iran and the Iranian people were and arepawns in America’s domestic shenanigans.
What a joke? How weird?It has been a game all along.